A Conway man was escorted from the Faulkner County Courthouse in handcuffs around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday after being found guilty of three counts of rape by a panel of jurors including five men and seven women.
Dr. Byron Kevin Beaver, 40, of Conway has been on house arrest since Aug. 2011 following an investigation based on allegations made by the mother of a 7-year-old victim known to him.
Prosecutors said each of the three charges represented multiple incidents at three different locations.
The trial began on Tuesday morning in Faulkner County Circuit Court under Judge David Reynolds.
Jurors deliberated for six hours on Wednesday evening following two days of graphic witness testimonies, including testimony by the minor victim, before returning the guilty verdicts and breaking for the evening.
The victim’s sister, mother, maternal aunt and paternal grandfather were all called back to the stand when court resumed at 9 a.m. Thursday for closing arguments in the sentencing trial.
Defense attorney Jack Lassiter asked jurors to consider Beaver’s age, the imminent loss of his medial license and his registry as a sex offender in determining an appropriate sentence.
Around 12:30 p.m. Thursday and after an hour of discussion, jurors sentenced Beaver to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on each of three counts, to run consecutively.
Beaver will be eligible for parole in 2075.
“(Wednesday’s) verdict and (Thursday’s) sentencing are the result of great investigative work by Joni Clark at Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office and a great job by Troy Braswell and Carol Crews, two deputy prosecutors who I wouldn’t trade for anybody in the state,” Prosecutor Cody Hiland said. “With all of that said, the main factor in our success was the courage of an 8-year-old little boy who took the stand and faced the man who attacked him repeatedly and with a great deal of poise, told his story. I hope with the sentencing the family can pick up the broken pieces of their lives and with God’s grace, move forward at some point and put this behind them.”
Hiland said Beaver would be 104 years old before he is eligible for parole, and that in light of the fact that the Supreme Court will not allow prosecutors to pursue the death penalty “for these monsters who rape children,” he was satisfied with a lifetime sentence.
“That’s all we can ask the jury to do,” Hiland said.